Going into week three of the nationwide lockdown, the need for escapism has never been greater. Speaking from experience, life so far in isolation has revolved around watching a lot of TV, playing too much Xbox and cracking a few cold ones whenever the opportunity presents itself. While that isn’t exactly anything to complain about, it’s becoming easier for that familiar feeling of cabin fever to set in.
While in these trying times the importance of keeping our brains and bodies active and healthy has never been greater. So to help we’ve put together 5 new hobbies to keep you occupied during this lockdown period. From flexing those muscles to getting your creative juices flowing, we’ve got you covered.
For those who aren’t already aware, yoga is an ancient form of exercise in which you focus on strength, flexibility, and breathing by holding and progressing through a set of poses and movements. Through frequent practice, yoga can increase flexibility and strength, tone muscle and even help maintain a balanced metabolism, (one I’ll definitely be needing). The benefits of yoga aren’t just physical, they’re mental too. Studies have shown yoga is an excellent way to relieve stress and tension, sharpen concentration levels and calm your nervous system. With an abundance of instructional apps and web resources available online all else you need to start is a yoga mat, a clear space and a willingness to get going.
2. Learn an Instrument
Always thought you could be a musician? What better time to learn than now. Learning an instrument is a great way to pass time and learn a skill for life. Some of the other benefits of learning an instrument include reduced stress, increased cognitive ability, increased reaction time and according to Swedish scientists you’ll appear more attractive while doing it, so that’s always a bonus. With a lot of companies offering starter and beginner packs, it doesn’t have to be an expensive hobby to get stuck into and whether you fancy yourself more like a John Mayer or a John Legend there’s a wealth of online resources to take you from noobie to pro, no matter your choice of instrument.
Probably one of the most accessible of all exercises, running is a great way to get out of the house and get the heart pumping, (for no more than an allotted hour a day, of course). The benefits of running are endless, it increases cardio-vascular capability, burns calories and even strengthens your joints. After an initial acclimation period, running can become one of the most meditative and peaceful activities as well, with many experiencing “runners high” a reported feeling of pure elation, reduced stress and increased endorphins released by the exercise. One of the best things about running is you really don’t need much to start, just a sturdy pair of trainers and some self-discipline and you’re good to go. With apps like Map My Run and Strava, you can track your progress with ease too.
What better way to spend some time outdoors during the lockdown period than by working on your own garden. On the contrary to popular belief, gardening isn’t just about making your house look good, (although some added appeal would not go amiss). Gardening actually has an abundance of positive effects on your physical and mental wellbeing including lowering blood pressure, stress relief and reduction in mood disturbance. Getting started is easy, pick up some basic tools, pick what you want to start growing, order some seeds online and get cracking. With gardening dating all the way back to ancient times, people have had a long time to get things right, so you can find an abundance of advice and tips online to help your pursuit of creating your own little zen-like space.
Gardening can be more graft than we all realise so make sure you’ve got the right kit with some additions from outdoor brands such as Filson & Columbia.
Beers have been brewed for over 7,000 years now and our quest for seeking the perfect pint is still an on-going journey. In this day and age, many people have turned to homebrewing as an opportunity to test their skills and hone their craft. Studies have shown by drinking your own brewed beer (in moderation, of course) you can boost brain health, lower heart disease risk and even encourage hair growth. As well as this you gain an alchemistic sense of accomplishment after you’ve perfected your special elixir. To get started this one requires a little more research on the process, as well as a home brewing kit which will contain all the necessary equipment and ingredients to get you on the right track. While homebrewing is a little bit more expensive to get going than our other suggestions, you’ll save money in the long run on all those supermarket beer buys and eventually, you’ll be able to impress all your test-subjects with your new-found chemistry skills.
Very much seen as a millennial driven hobby we have pulled out some of our favourite millennial inspired clothing.
Words by Jack Strong
Illustrations by Joe Oliver